Vol 1 No 1

Dear Reader,

We are very excited to share with you the inaugural issue of the Responsibility to Protect Student Journal. As students of International Relations, we have closely followed the evolution of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) norm for many years. The very first R2P Student Coalition was established in 2010 at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Only a few years later, students from East Africa set up the East African Student Coalition on the R2P, and just last year, the University of Leeds saw the establishment of an R2P Student Coalition. We believe the fact that students from three different continents have actively sought to engage with the R2P bodes well for the norm’s future. As tomorrow’s leaders in national governments, in non-governmental organisations or at the United Nations (UN), it is vital that the current student generation continues to grapple with difficult questions around the R2P and related subjects such as human rights, international criminal justice and peacekeeping.

Having grown up during the 1990s and early 2000s, and hearing about the failures to protect people in Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur – to name just a few –, most of us find the ‘disarmingly simple idea’ of the R2P (Alex Bellamy, in this issue) uncontroversial. Rather than engage only with conceptual debates, we are primarily concerned with the practical considerations of how the R2P can be implemented. Some of the ways are considered in the current issue: Tommaso Trillò calls for the inclusion of gender into the R2P and refugee frameworks. Dominique Fraser analyses how legitimacy impacted on the UN Security Council’s decision to take over from a failing African Union peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic. Ben Taylor explores the legal ways President Omar al-Bashir can be brought to justice outside of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. In our blog section, Katelyn Swinsburg tries to answer one of the biggest questions the mass atrocity community faces: what are the causes of genocide?

We hope that students, academics and practitioners find this journal not only interesting and engaging, but also useful for their own research and work. Above all, we hope to receive many more excellent essays from undergraduate and postgraduate students for publication to advance meaningful debates around these important issues.

Georgiana Epure and Dominique Fraser

This issue was originally published under our previous title, the Responsibility to Protect Student Journal.